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Custom, Capitalism, and the State: The Origins of Insecure Land Tenure in West Africa

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  • Kathryn Firmin-Sellers
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    Abstract

    This paper invokes foundational property rights theories to explain the persistence of insecure tenure in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The case studies affirm the theories' core propositions: when relative factor prices change, actors seek more narrowly defined rights to newly valued resources. Their efforts may be blocked by costly decision-making rules, distributional conflict, or the inabiltiy to credibly commit to the new rights. This paper also highlights the way in which culture - the beliefs, rituals, and practices that promote a community's share understanding or mode of behavior - circumscribes actors' choice sets, and, thus, influences the path of institutional change.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 156 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 513-

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    Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200009)156:3_513:ccatst_2.0.tx_2-w

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    Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
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    Cited by:
    1. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2006. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 321-345, July.

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